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Bob Garner: Weighed in the balance

Bob Garner

Bob Garner


Sunday, January 7, 2018

As the consummate foodie, I have a morsel of great deliciousness.

Anyone who, like me, is on Medicare in the Vidant Health service area gets excellent monitoring following any hospital stay. High rates of unnecessary readmissions nationwide have been due to decades of inefficient care coordination. Not here — not now.

So, following my recent week in the hospital, a nurse dropped off a blood pressure cuff with a modem to transmit the readings for monitoring. I actually enjoy taking it every day, mainly so someone will call and tell me how good I’m doing.

They like to track weight, too, so she also left one of their scales. It’s something. Not content to let you simply see your weight numerically, it announces in a stern female voice, “___ pounds! You may now step off the scale.” (As if to add, “Before you break my back!”)

You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? A certain other person who shares my domicile will not get anywhere near that “obnoxious” scale, convinced that it can be heard all over the house. When I’m home, that is.

I don’t imagine there are many women who would get on such a blabby scale with their husbands on the premises. There are however, probably quite a few who, like my wife, would use it surreptitiously if they found themselves at home alone.

Like my wife, some might not realize the modem also transmits the weight readings. Since I’ve been dropping a few pounds lately, I’ve enjoyed that feature, too. Just to get a daily “attaboy” and a pat on the rear, so to speak.

The home health care worker telephoned the other day. “Just checking in on you,” she said. “Your weight and blood pressure have been looking good.” She added, diplomatically, “There were a couple of random readings there that didn’t fit your weight range, so I figured they weren’t yours.”

I better add that these readings were quite a bit below my weight range.

When I met future wife Ruthie at UNC-CH, she was a long-legged former high school basketball player measuring 5 feet 8 inches. I knew she didn’t weigh any “120 pounds,” which is what all 5-foot-8-inch girls probably wish they weighed. While she never told me that, she may have implied it. But she was also a hobbyist hunter-jumper horsewoman, with the leg and thigh strength to grip a horse’s flanks like a steel vice. Her poundage just wasn’t an issue, not with her lithe figure.

She was mortified to discover she had unthinkingly transmitted her weight, but laughed delightedly, if ruefully, nonetheless. And as a measure of just how comfortable she is in her own skin, she agreed to let me share the story — perhaps because we celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago.

I told you it was delicious.

Bob Garner is a UNC-TV restaurant reviewer, freelance food writer, author of four cookbooks, barbecue pit master and public speaker.